Our NEW Toll Free Search Engine

TollFreeNumbers.com has always had the best search process for toll free numbers, providing more options, more information and faster results than anyone else, but with our NEW Toll Free Search Engine we’ve raised the bar to a whole new level. We’ve added a new system that typically checks thousands of numbers for each query and often finds 50 to 100 or more possible numbers for any word or phrase.

We had to change the name from Instant 800 Lookup to Toll Free Search Engine because this isn’t just a lookup tool any more, it really is a search engine! The results come back faster with our new dynamic loading process that lets the computer search in multiple places at once and load the results as they come back. And we’re using an iframe window to keep the often lengthy results from making too long of a page. This will allow us to add even additional features which are already on the drawing board.

We already have the best search process but we are making it easier and easier to find the best possible vanity number. We are very focused on developing it even more and making the best possible tool in the business. Give it a try and let us know what you think! We really want your input and feedback as we continue to add features and improve this for you!

    Comments5 comments

    1. How to use the Instant 800 Lookup

    One of the main features, if not THE main feature of our whole site, is the Instant 800 Lookup, which allows you to lookup specific numbers live into the SMS800 database. It is the fastest, the smartest and the most thorough lookup tool of it’s kind.  It’s insanely easy to use and will let you activate or backorder any number you find available right online in real time.
    The information here is organized into four sections:
    1. How to use it
    2. What you see on the page
    3. What it means
    4. Then what can you do?

    The Instant 800 Lookup is on the top of almost every page and is designed to check specific numbers quickly and easily, right online.  Just type any word or phrase, letters or digits into the Instant 800 Lookup form (shown below) and hit lookup.  It doesn’t get much easier than that. 

    Instant 800 Lookup
    * is used as a wildcard and the system will check any digit in that place.  And if you put less than 7 digit it’s going to look for your word with numbers at the end , (ie WORD becomes WORD-***)

    Most visitors arrive with a specific word or phrase and start trying a couple queries with the Instant 800 Lookup.  Unfortunately they usually find out that the first things they think of are the first things that other people think of too, so they’re usually not available (that’s what In Use means by the way). 

    IMPORTANT: Remember that this is one of TWO lookup tools, so don’t get hung up on it, trying everything you can think of one at a time forever.  Before you spend too much time trying things one at a time, make sure you try the Keyword Lookup because it does all of the thinking and checking for you and gives you a thorough list of all the numbers available or going to be available for your keywords. It’ll save you hours and hours and make it much easier for you.

    Don’t limit yourself to 7 digits

    One common mistake visitors sometimes make is limiting themselves to 7 digits.  There is no rule or major reason to limit yourself that way.  It can be a factor to consider, but it’s hard enough to find a number without eliminating 90% of the good numbers before you even start.  Any digits after 7 are ignored by standard phone systems.  So you can add any extra digits you want to, to make it more memorable for your audience.  (more…)

      Comments4 comments

      2. What you see on the Results Page

      Random Tips

      The first thing you’ll see when you use the Instant 800 Lookup is a row of text at the top, that usually starts with TIP #.  This is designed to let users know it’s working as well as to educate visitors in short little bites, and it gives them something interesting to think about for the thirty seconds or so that the SMS800 query can take.  The tips rotate at random now but in the next version they will be more related to the users query term.  Many of the tips are shown in the Tips Section too.  By the way, you can find the Tips Section by clicking on the TIP of the bouncing arrow in the blue circle next to the Instant 800 Lookup.

      Toll Free Number Search Results

      The key part of the Instant 800 Lookup is the Blue Toll Free Numbers Search Results box.  It may take a few seconds for it to appear, especially if any of the numbers have been in Available or Disconnect status.  The queries that were all active last month go faster since those aren’t checked live because they don’t usually have any chance  The default area code is 8**.  You can select a specific area code but it’s usually better to leave the 8** since it doesn’t speed anything up to specify a single area code.

        Comments1 comment

        3. What does it all mean?

        What does “In Use” mean?

        It may seem self evident (I kind of hoped it was) but some people don’t understand so I figured I better explain it.  “In Use” means it’s in Active status with another carrier presumably for a customer.  It basically means it’s already taken or “in use”.  It’s OK to call the number too, but even if it doesn’t go through that does NOT mean the number is available or able for you to get.  That’s kind of like assuming that a house is for sale just because nobody is home. I repeat, no matter what you hear when you call a toll free number, that does NOT mean it’s available. Calling the number is kind of like typing a domain name into your browser. Just because it doesn’t pull up a webpage, does NOT mean it’s available to register.

        The dates in the Search Results

        After “In Use” the search results usually indicates a year.  That isn’t the date it was set up, it’s the date of the last change at the Resporg.  I show this because it’s more helpful than the set up date, because if a number’s not going through and it shows an old date that’s a good indication that it could be lost or stranded in the phone company.  The new dates mean more recent activity and less likelihood of being able to get it.  If the date says In Use since 1970, that means there is no date, which usually means that that number was in reserved status and hadn’t been activated as of the first of the month.

          Comments1 comment

          Phone Company info available

          The secure lookup does NOT show you the customer information.  We can only give you the phone company that services the number, and we can only provide that to our customers.  You would need to contact the phone company responsible for the number for any customer information.  (more…)

            Comments1 comment

            Resporg Locked? Forgetaboutit!

            I grew up in NJ and Rita lives in NJ now, (if you couldn’t tell it by talking to her).  In New Jersey we have a word that describes Resporg Locked.  That is “Forgetaboutit.”  (Actually it’s more properly pronounced “Forgedaboudit”)  Technically Resporg Locked just means not just that it’s active and unavailable, but it’s also held in a higher level of security at the resporg.  When I tell that to someone their reply is usually “What does that mean?”  The answer is that it ultimately means “forgedaboutdit”. Don't waste your time and energy pursuing these because they're basically just impossible

              Comments20 comments

              Alternatives

              One of the most important parts of the lookup is the Alternatives section.  It’s important because the exact match of what you’re looking for isn’t usually available.  Like the Keyword Search results, the numbers in the Alternatives box, were either in disconnect or available in the monthly database from the first of the month. (more…)

                Comments2 comments

                Checking the Status of an 800 number

                It’s very easy to check the status of any toll free number.  You just enter the body of the number (without the area code) in the Instant 800 Lookup on the top of TollFreeNumbers.com, and hit Lookup. 

                  Comments6 comments

                  Available #s can be ordered online

                  Any number that says “Currently Available” when you use the Instant 800 Lookup can be activated right away for a one time fee of only $49.  There will be a link next to “Currently Available”, for Immediate Activation which will lead you into the process to activate the number.  No mater what message you hear when dialing a number, you can’t activate it with the regular activation unless it says “Currently Available” with the look up tool or unless you specifically reserved it here (which requires filling out the reservation form or emailing us). 

                  Messages you hear on the phone can be deceiving and there are a lot of reasons why an 800 number may be going to a disconnect message or a phone company intercept message of some kind, even when the number is technically active.  There is more information on digging deeper for numbers that go to those types of messages in the Consulting section.

                  When a number is “Currently Available” it’ll also give you a link for a Free 15 day Reservation next to the link for Immediate Activation.  Reservations simply hold onto a number for you so you can continue looking or get the approval or credit card information if necessary.  Reservations aren’t canceled automatically after 15 days.  They expire anywhere between 15 and 45 days depending on how much space we have left.  Reservations can’t be transferred but once it’s activated you can transfer it anywhere and to any phone company you want.  See Activations Section for more information or to activate or reserve a number.

                    Comments4 comments

                    Numbers in Disconnect and Transition

                    When you use the Instant 800 Lookup, some numbers will say Disconnected or Changed Recently.  These numbers are in the aging process before being returned to the available pool and you can backorder them from us.  We’ll research them and then try to grab them that first second when they come out.  No other phone company shows you numbers that are in Disconnect or Transition (Changed recently).  These can also be some of the best numbers too, although they take more time and effort and cost more than the regular $49 activations. (more…)

                      #s reserved for FCC or other countries

                      Some blocks of “800″ numbers were set aside by the FCC for specific countries or territories, mainly in the Caribbean or for some future use by the FCC.  There are 31 exchanges in the “800″ area code which are reserved (see full list) as well as 2 more exchanges (911 and 555) that are blocked in each of the other toll free area codes 888, 877, & 866.  (more…)

                        Comments11 comments

                        3rd party numbers

                        We have been slowly building a list of third party numbers that may be available.  These are not numbers that we have any influence or say over.  They often aren’t on our Resporg.  They are owned and controlled by other unrelated 3rd party organizations that have simply asked us to list them and given us an email address to forward inquiries and offers to.  (more…)

                          Comments2 comments

                          Yo-yo numbers

                          If you don’t pay your phone bill to the phone company providing the service on your toll free number, they will at some point have to disconnect the toll free number.  Sprint in particular seems to do this if you’re only one day late.  And just to make it worse, they’re the only Resporg that we’re aware of that actually disconnects numbers all the way into the national SMS800 database too. 

                          I guess they think the threat of actually giving away your toll free number is stronger than just shutting it down so they’ll get paid faster.  (That’s Sprint customer service for you!)  Unfortunately this disconnecting and reconnecting process tends to create what we’ve named Yo-Yo numbers, not to mention this is how Sprint loses numbers on you too. (more…)

                            Comments3 comments

                            4. If your first choice isn’t available

                            The posts below go through the specifics in more detail, but there are two simple answers to this question, which happens to all of us.

                            1. What did you do when your first choice for a domain name, wasn’t available?

                            2. What did you do when the first person you asked out turned you down?

                            If you registered your domain name in 1993 or are so amazing or lucky that nobody ever turned you down or you never had to ask anyone out (do prearranged marriages still exist?) then just imagine what you would do for a minute and humor me.

                              Comments6 comments

                              Know what you want, take what you can get

                              When you start a new business it’s natural to have high expectations and to shoot for the moon.  Believe me, I’ve been there myself many times.  But you also have to realize that you can’t get the best of everything starting out and in reality, you often have to make do. 

                              Unfortunately you have to realize that you may not be able to get the perfect number at first for a new small business, just like you probably didn’t have the perfect car when you first got your drivers license.  It would obviously be silly to say, “If I can’t have my dream car, I don’t want anything.”  And it’s just as silly to say, “If I can’t have my dream number, I don’t want anything.”  We all have to know what we want, but take what we can get sometimes.  (more…)

                                Comments5 comments

                                Listen to the Monkey…

                                Listen to Rafiki, the wise monkey from the Lion King who told Simba in the Lion King 1½, “Look beyond what you see.”

                                It’s natural to look for or think about something until you find it or think you’ve found it, and then stop looking.  You’re probably only looking for one toll free number, so when you think of one you think you’d like, it’s natural to stop trying to think of any more.  It’s not easy to look “beyond what you see” but there’s a whole world out there when you start looking around.  We also tend to think that, this first number, which is often the most obvious and/or generic toll free number is the very best possible one, even if we haven’t considered very much else.  (See: Don’t marry the first girl you meet)

                                If your first choice is available, it’s easy and there’s no problem.  But if your first choice isn’t “Available,” join the club. You can chase after your fantasy for a while but if you’re smart you’ll adjust your mind set from searching for a single item to brainstorming for all of the possibilities.  (Unfortunately, if your boss is the one that thought of the number, it’s hard to adjust your boss’s mind set.)  In Brainstorm mode you expand your horizons so you can look beyond “The big pointy rock” (the obvious one you thought of first). (more…)

                                  Comments3 comments

                                  Let the computer do the searching

                                  The simplest and often most effective next step to try is to essentially just let our computers do the research, thinking up all of the possible numbers related to your keywords, checking them all.  Then it’ll email you a thorough list of all the numbers related to your terms that are available or going to be available (in Disconnect). 

                                   It’s amazingly easier to just pick from a list than it is to dream up all of the possibilities and check them one at a time.  The computer will do literally days of searching for you in less than a minute.  Use the Keyword Lookup on the top of the left column, just below the keypad.  (See the Keyword Search section for more information about this powerful tool)

                                    Comments2 comments

                                    Maybe you have to Try Harder

                                    We have a whole section about how to pursue a number that’s already “In Use” (regarless of whether you can get through dialing the number).  I’ll explain a general overview here but you’ll definitely want to go to the Consulting section for more information about how to dig deeper.

                                    The first thing you need to know about “Digging Deeper” is that it’s harder than you realize.  The second thing is that before you even start, you need to know your alternatives and have a backup, at least reserved if not active and ready to go.  Third, remove any number that say Resporg Locked from your list.  It’s also very smart to make a wish list of all your dream numbers, not just one.  Then you can eliminate the impossible numbers more easily.

                                    Then when you have read the Consulting Section thoroughly, dial all of the versions of your dream number.  If a number is answered, the only one you can get it from is the owner.  Talk to them and see if there’s any possibility, what they do, how they advertise the number, and their website (usually my first question). 

                                    Next you’ll want to pursue the numbers that aren’t going through to an active customer.  Those are usually easier to get in many ways since you probably don’t have to get someone to change all of their advertising and “give up” as much.  But the hard part with these is often tracking down and getting through to someone that can release it for you.

                                    Use the secure version of our lookup tool to show you the phone company responsible for the number.  You’ll usually have to be a little clever to get them to give out much customer information though, so review the Consulting Section for that as well as how to approach a customer.

                                      We built this for You!

                                      We’ve literally invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and worked on this system for many years to help you find a great number for your business.  So if you have any questions or need more help let us know. 

                                      Lastly I want to thank the people that have made and continue to make this tool work, Bud Jay and Ryan Maple.  Their continuous effort over the years has made this the best lookup tool of it’s kind.  Their pictures are in the header at the top of this column and there’s more in the About Us section as well as The brains behind the Lookup.  We also have some exciting things coming that are going to be a quantum leap forward as well too. 

                                      There are several other related issues we could add here too, but this section is already long so I’ve put them into separate posts to keep things more manageable.

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